After a meticulous process to recognise and support emerging young leaders, The Obama Foundation selected 11 very well-deserved people from around the world to join them as Obama Scholars who will study at Columbia University and one of them is from Bangladesh for the first time – Mr. Shazeeb M Khairul Islam!
Shazeeb is the Founder and Managing Director of YY Ventures, which is a Bangladeshi company that builds, accelerates and invests in social businesses with the mission to achieve a world with zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero carbon emission. Before this, he had pioneered the creation of the first independent social business incubator in the country, called YY Goshti, that has supported 36 social entrepreneurs, vastly improving the lives of more than 10,000 people over the last 4 years.
Shazeeb was also the Founding Country Director of YGAP. It is a non-profit international development that supported 30 social entrepreneurs. Not only that, he even worked as the Bangladesh Country Advisor at a U.S based non-profit organisation called Give2Asia where he played a key role in developing the strong relationships between the humanitarian investors and the best community-based organisations to counter certain significant issues being faced by everyone.
The Obama Foundation Scholars program was launched in 2018. And this time it will be starting from September to be conducted via online classes because of the ongoing pandemic. And, in consultation with Obama Foundation, Columbia University designed the curriculum in a manner that will challenge the Scholars academically and hone their skills for them to be able to make much bigger and bolder impacts on their respective homelands and communities.
The Scholars will also be able to contribute to Columbia World Projects, which is an initiative to deal with real-world problems with the help of governments, organisations, communities, and the university researchers and scholars.